Rolf Weijburg is a Dutch graphic artist, specializing in
color-etching. His work can best be described as ‘travel-stories’, showing
colorful images of the places he travels to with details of flora and fauna,
architecture, every day life and landscapes intricately fitted together like
Rolf likes to work on projects, in series. Three large series of color-etchings have thus developed these last years: ‘L'Afrique Périphérique – An Atlas of the Islands around Africa’ consisting of over eighty five color-etchings, now completed, and the still growing series ‘Home’ and ‘Local Beauties’. A new project to create a series of etchings on the 20 smallest independent countries of the world is now in it's preparatory stage and will result in the first large etchings in 2003.
Could it be that the islands around Africa were all compact miniatures of Africa, where sounds and smells and images of the whole continent were conveniently washed ashore more or less untouched by time and preserved by isolation? The islands like an African magnifying glass? It is this idea that took Rolf on his numerous journeys to all the inhabited islands and island groups around Africa between 1985 and 1998. These journeys provided the artist with the inspiration for a large series of etchings showing the immense diversity of all these bits of Africa.
Rolf Weijburg was awarded the Dutch National Prize for the Graphic Arts in 1992, for the etchings of this series up to that point.
A large exhibition with over one hundred works in the Singer Museum in Laren in 2000 marked the completion of this project.
All of the 85 color etchings plus sketches, photographs and accompanying travel stories (in Dutch) are published in the book ‘L' Afrique Périphérique – Een Atlas van de Eilanden rond Afrika’ which was presented at the Singer Museum exhibition.
Almost all of the etchings can be found in the French language edition ‘Mes Carnets des îles’, which was one of eight nominated for the French National Prize for the Artist's Travel Sketchbook 2002.
Many of the etchings of this series are now sold out. The etchings you find in the Portfolio under ‘L'Afrique Périphérique’ are, sometimes in a very limited number, still available.
The ‘Home’ series was started upon his return from Yemenite Hadramawt in 1992 with the color-etching ‘Home: Shibam, Hadramawt’. It is a series about houses and about where home is. About all those red dots on the map. The houses they consist of, the people who live in them. Home away from Home.
Years ago the artist received a postcard from Sri Lanka. The card was divided into four rectangles with ladies in local dress in each rectangle. One stood next to a house, one on a beach, one was standing in a forest and one had just stopped picking tea. It was an old-fashioned postcard with colors that might have been applied by hand. In the middle it read: Local Beauties.
For years, this card hung on the wall in the artist's house. Now the card has got lost. But it's title has been preserved.
Reviews of Artist's Work
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